Citroen U55 Cityrama Currus: Parisian spaceship from the 1950s!
When we are considering which bus design could be called "the strangest ever built in history", then this hyperfuturistic double-decker bus certainly comes right on top.
People at the time wondered if this thing came from outer space, escaped from a Flash Gordon movie, or was some sort of a mirage... but in reality this was a very comfortable tour bus built by Citroen on U55 truck chassis for a Paris tour operator Groupe Cityrama. The fantastic shape was designed by the French coachbuilder Currus - and unleashed upon excited visitors to Paris in 1950:
This Cityrama vehicle is a fitting tribute to a certain joie de vivre and artistic flair of Paris... Esprit de Paris, if you like, the City of Lights. Paris is also known as the City of Love, and so it's easy to imagine cuddling up to your girl inside this bus, chatting about sweet nothings, while watching the marvelous panorama unfold outside.
It looks wild and... strangely attractive. And it was super comfortable, too.
Imagine seeing this Parisian spaceship cruising through the city:
(image credit: LIFE Magazine)
A large section of the upper deck roof was removed in good weather, turning it into more conventional tour bus. Here are better views of this Parisian spaceship from the 1960 film "Zanzie dans le Métro":
The original Citroen U55 vehicle (on the left) looks very prosaic indeed... hard to imagine it will be converted into such futuristic version. On the right is the next Cityrama bus design, without all the excesses of the Space Age:
"This was custom-bodied T55 designed by Philippe Charbonneaux with coachwork by Leffondré for the FRIGEAVIA/TELEAVIA home appliances brand (which a subsidiary of the SUD AVIATION company, which also made the Caravelle medium range jet, hence the rocket-like design)":
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